WAY OUT                                             LA SORTIE

Today he was going home. He never liked it here. Now that she was gone, liked it even less. The memory of his house came and went, just like everything else. Did he have a house?  Where was the car parked? He was tired of this. He was going home.

Jake had left his day clothes on the bed and before leaving asked him to dress himself. He tried. The buttons on his shirt wouldn’t work. His fingers were too big, the buttons too small. She always helped him dress. What happened to her? One side of his shirt was now longer than the other. She fell? Why didn’t you tell me? He tucked the tails into his jeans, forgetting to zip his fly. He pulled his braces up and around his shoulders. He waited. What happened to her? She fell? Where is that guy who helps me?

Today he was going home.  He hand-turned the wheels on his chair and glided through the doorway of his room towards the elevator. He knew he had to get downstairs. That was where home was, downstairs and out the door.  The elevator was across the hall and past the stair-well.

He stopped. Stopped at the stair-well and looked down.  The chair was edged as close to the landing as possible. A kiss of memory. He remembered. Off balance and with shaky legs he stood, pushed the chair back, and clumsily fell to the floor. Taking one stair at a time he continued down the stairs on his bum dragging the wheelchair behind him. He knew he would need it because today he was going home. Down the stairs and out that damn door…

Friday morning I physically moved my Step-dad into the memory care wing of my parent’s assisted living facility. He has everything he needs, except my Mother. She’ll be released from skilled care soon. She says she will miss him, but especially in their bed…”We snuggle to keep each other warm.”  They each celebrate ninety years of living.



  1. What a beautifully moving piece about such a sad time in all your lives. Like many others, we to have had some experience of memory loss and the devastating effect it can have on those caring as well as the sufferer. Mr S called it a living bereavement as his Mum, my MIL, was lost to us all for so many years before she died and the older Mr S was so lost when she had to go into care.

    I send you love across the oceans. Like many other of your commenters, I wish there were something more than words that I could help you with but I love that you found my post today to be of use. Serendipity at its best! 🙂


  2. Raye, this is very touching. I love the snuggle part. That makes our lives and relationships richer. Take care of you and those you love, BTG


  3. A poignant post, Jots. No comment can come close to expressing my thoughts for what you must be feeling right now. Just know you’re in my thoughts and that none of this is easy.


  4. wonderfully moving, brought me to tears. I never want to be in that space, and pray for a peaceful, sudden passing.

    My heart goes out to you


  5. This is tough. Your work your whole life and at the end you get reduced to needing care as a child would. So sad and it must be especially heart wrenching for you to watch it.


  6. Home. Such a powerful concept, and at times such a difficult thing to define. Love the artwork and the words. Hope you’re well – I’ll try to get back soon.


  7. Words fail. You are right…times like this. Hugs from this side of the country to you for the lives you shore up. Nice to know we are really not alone. The same back to you in the anything-at-all-you-need department. Seriously. You make my heart sing……


  8. Oh, Jots, I’m so sorry.
    Except for yours above, words fail at a time like this.

    If I can do anything for you (no idea what, from the opposite side of the country, but still), let me know.


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